Mad Hot Ballroom
May 13, 2005
A movie that Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times compares to Spellbound crossed with Strictly Ballroom, Mad Hot Ballroom is a documentary that follows 6,000 kids from 60 schools on their ten week journey to become the very best ballroom dancers amongst children of the same age.
Like Spellbound, the movie looks at the kids from a candid perspective, offering up both the joyous, raucous laughter that results when some young boys talk about how hot one of their potential female partners is, as well as the tears that result when the competition ends for the various teams.
The movie itself centers specifically on several kids from three New York City public schools who are transformed from reluctant participants in a dancing program to strong, indomitable competitors. The stories vary from typical “urban” kids to the more urbane sorts who take their culture – and their contest – very seriously.
On their way to the final city-wide challenge, the kids – all undergoing the specific traumas and tensions that come from being a teenager – will learn such dances as the samba, the foxtrot, the merengue, the rumba, and even a little bit of swing. It’s already got plenty of positive word-of-mouth heading into its theatrical release, and should find plenty of interested fans. (Kim Hollis/BOP)